The 400 square meter garden includes 40 different varietals of vegetables and herbs – aubergine, tomato, spinach, leeks, cabbage, broccoli, beetroot, rosemary, thyme, basil and many more.

Observatory Junior School is hosting the garden, but produce harvested from the garden will go to all three schools, contributing to the lunch made for learners at school every day. All three schools will also use the garden as an educational resource centre, actively involving learners in managing the garden.

Adding fresh, locally grown produce to the learner’s diets has great nutritional value and added to that is the experience of growing their own food. They learn from the garden – planting, growing, harvesting and then eating the food they’ve grown.

“Learners from many different areas in Cape Town come to school at these three schools in Observatory and Salt River every day, many of them without a packed lunch and from homes where there are no gardens. The edible garden at Observatory Junior School is our contribution towards giving more learners access to fresh food and a living garden where they can learn how to grow food and take responsibility for the upkeep of the garden”, says Helene Brand, MySchool’s CSI Manager.

Edible Garden2

“We’ve worked with all three schools through our participation in the Community of Learning Principals and the Partners for Possibility initiative and wanted to continue supporting them, so they can continue on their journey to be more sustainable and independent. They are run by highly committed staff and are motivated to participate in initiatives that will benefit their learners”, say Andy Clark, Head of Transformation from Woolworths Financial Services. “We are hoping to roll out more gardens at schools in the area, contributing to the communities in which we operate.”

Urban Harvest, who installed this garden, have installed over 250 gardens so far, more than half of those at schools in the greater Cape Town area. According to Ben Getz from Urban Harvest, the edible garden teaches learners that ‘you reap what you sow’. In the garden hard work pays off in many ways and the learners gain a greater sense of responsibility. They also gain a sensitivity to and an appreciation for quiet, meditative, slow time when weeding or feeding the garden. They learn about keeping space neat and organised and a respect for nature and its lessons.

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